McAlister opens Euro account

13th Dec 2007, 22:02

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Almost too quick! Luke McAlister bursts away from the despairing tackle of Henri-Pierre Vermis

Almost too quick! Luke McAlister bursts away from the despairing tackle of Henri-Pierre Vermis

Luke McAlister weighed in with a try on his first appearance in European competition, scoring Sale's third as the Sharks cruised to a 32-10 win over Bayonne at Edgeley Park on Thursday in the Challenge Cup.

Luke McAlister weighed in with a try on his first appearance in European competition, scoring Sale's third as the Sharks cruised to a 32-10 win over Bayonne at Edgeley Park on Thursday in the Challenge Cup.

Four tries in a second-half onslaught from the tournament favourites secured the bonus-point win in front of 7,285 at Edgeley Park.

Spain wing Oriol Ripol scored twice, France full back Julien Laharrague dived over, as did Kiwi McAlister, as the international class of the two-time Challenge Cup winners told over 80 minutes.

But Sale were made to work for their win by a side they thrashed 51-12 last weekend.

The French side had the majority of first-quarter possession but as the Sale pack began to impose themselves on the match, penalties came and Charlie Hodgson delivered on 20 and 25 minutes.

Bayonne responded positively and got the try they deserved when hooker David Roumieu, who moments later saw a yellow card for a push on Sébastien Chabal, was driven over after 36 minutes, but Manny Edmonds' conversion was wide to leave his side trailing by a solitary point at the interval.

Sale woke up in the second period and had secured maximum points within 25 minutes of the restart with Hodgson also clearing two conversions.

A late consolation score for Benoît Marfaing got the French team in double figures but the defeat ends their chance of quarter-final qualification.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries:
Laharrague, Ripol 2, McAlister
Cons: Hodgson 3
Pens: Hodgson 2

For Bayonne:
Tries:
Roumieu, Marfaing

Yellow card: Roumieu (40, Bayonne)

Sale: 15 Julien Laharrague, 14 Oriol Ripol, 13 Luke McAlister, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Steve Hanley, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Sililo Martens, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Chris Day, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Lionel Faure.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Stuart Turner, 18 Chris Jones, 19 Nathan Bonner Evans, 20 Richard Wigglesworth, 21 Rudi Keil, 22 Chris Mayor.

Bayonne: 15 Mathieu Acebes, 14 Sam Gerber, 13 Xavier Garbajosa, 12 Henri-Pierre Vermis, 11 Simon Ternisien, 10 Manny Edmonds, 9 Anthony Salle-Canne, 8 Jacques Deen, 7 Louis Massabeau (c), 6 Jean-Jo Marmouyet, 5 Mikaera Tewhata, 4 Andrew Springgay, 3 Augustin Loprestti, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Pierre Philippe Lafond.
Replacements: 16 Julian Fiorini, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Jean-Marie Usandisaga, 19 Cédric Bergez, 20 Guillaume Bernad, 21 Benoît Marfaing, 22 Julien Tilloles.

Referee: David Changleng (Scotland)
Touch judges: Peter Allan (Scotland), Peter Carruthers (Scotland)
Television match official: Andrew McPherson (Scotland)
Assessor: Brian Campsall (Wales)